× Shop Archive About about contact jobs magazine advertising terms & conditions privacy policy Follow Instagram Facebook

In conversation with Fernando Belfiore

Returning to the Julidans stage, we spoke with the choreographer about his work for this years festival, titled THE MARKET

Fernando Belfiore is a Brazilian choreographer hailing social and cultural concepts through the medium of performance. Described as both “hallucinatory” and “extreme”, his work is emotionally charged and ritualistic in nature. Combining dance with the mediums of theatre and visual art, Belfiore explores notions of Queer-culture, mythology, religion and more, where the eclectic backdrop of genre-bending soundscapes intrinsically compliment. In light of Belfiore’s return to the Julidans stage, we spoke with the choreographer about his work for this year’s festival, titled THE MARKET. Deep-diving into what he deems, “a radical solution to the capitalist catastrophe”, the work is an ecological manifesto reflecting on a sea of plastic waste.

Hey, how are you today? 

I’m good! Woke up early, and did some yoga…

Amazing! Could we begin with you walking me through the creative stimulus for the performance at Julidans? 

My work comes from a personal struggle and a collective struggle. I would say that the pandemic stimulated this further. I was going through a lot of stress, dealing with, let’s say ‘modern’ demands and problems (and dreams) when the pandemic came. Reflecting on this, alongside how the pandemic hit Brazil, and how the current-oppressive government chose profit over the people, I began the process. I then started to think about how I could make a performance that brings together these ideas of protest, manifestation, understanding and direction. I tried to use movement to discover this, particularly movements as a collective.

How would you describe your craft and the subjects you choose to engage with? 

I relate to the body, and to energy. But that is also connected to the material world: its problems. My work is guided by this; the body’s relationship to money, paper, caring relations, togetherness, growth and being rich. So, I start with materialities and then discover how this touches the body. This is a strong point of research for me, taking references from looking around, movies, reading and so forth. Some of my references are also on my blog, I use this to keep track of my process and the ideas I am trying to move and embody.


An important part of your work is mixing both ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultures. Why is this blending important within your work? 

I like the word blending! High and low culture, for me, should not be singular. They should mix, and create diversity within layers. This keeps me plural. This idea of blending can also relate to my sexuality and artistic expression. Low and High create a binary.

Totally, the more we are blending also, the more inclusive art – and ‘high’ culture – becomes. I also read that you like to seek out emotional extremes, can you tell me more about that? 

Yes! I think this comes with working with what the body can do — and its limits — alongside, how the body can affect the space. It’s interesting to push the body further and see how it can transform the space. The potential of the body to transform itself, and its environment.

Now, we have to talk about THE MARKET which was shown at this year’s Julidans…

Of course. THE MARKET just premiered, and it was a beautiful journey. The performance is done in a group; we are all artists with our own disciplines (from singers to activists). THE MARKET is evolving and has evolved into a performance bringing in different elements… including music. Within the piece, we go on a journey with the audience (there is no fourth wall),  placing questions to them on the path and creating new questions as we go.

I really liked the notion of an open dialogue with the audience. 

I don’t want to expose the performance too much! But it reflects on a lot, including pleasure and pop culture.

Without exposing too much… I really love the angle of approaching the notion of capitalism with an eco-social approach. 

It is quite practical really. We are basically saying, in terms of eco-politics, that you have to do your bit to save the world. With eco-socialism, this is more connection to social change… with is connected to sustainability. Asking the questions: what do we produce? And what do we consumer? Then how both need to be revealed. These elements are all present in the piece.

What are you hoping people will take away from the performance?

I am hoping that people enter the space of public-thinking. I hope the experience is touching, and provoking. That we need to keep going together and finding understanding in one another.

Thank you for talking with me! What can we expect from you going forward? 

Im going to act in a movie! I will also keeep coreographing and teaching. Alongside this, I want to show the performance around more.

Julidans 2-16th July


Words by Ella Paritsky

Images via Fernando Belfiore

See more from Julidans